Melbourne Genomics has launched an all-in-one resource hub to help paediatricians order and use Medicare-funded genomic tests.
The site paediatricgenomics.org.au includes a step-by-step guide to genomic testing and an ‘ask an expert’ service.
Studies show that genomic testing for children with suspected genetic conditions can make diagnosis more likely, at less than half the cost of other tests. Although Medicare now covers genomic tests for eligible children, they are not used as widely as expected.
Paediatrician Emma Weisz worked with Melbourne Genomics to develop the resource hub.
“We wanted to know what might keep doctors from ordering a test with proven benefits,” said Dr Weisz. “So my colleagues interviewed paediatricians, parents and genetic experts to find out more.”
“We discovered that many paediatricians aren’t sure when genomic sequencing is the right test, and don’t know how to navigate the complex process of ordering a genomic test.”
The resource hub, developed in collaboration with Victorian Clinical Genetics Services and Monash Health, brings together the best available resources under one roof. It includes links to laboratories that provide genomic testing, and contact details for a genetic counsellor who can assist paediatricians with their enquiries.
“Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for you to order a test when your patients need one,” Dr Weisz said.
Paediatricians will be invited to provide feedback on the resource hub, as part of a broader research study into interventions that support the use of genomic testing.